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Results & Constituencies
 
 East Lothian
Other Labour hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Anne Picking Labour 17,407 47.2 -5.5
Hamish Mair Conservative 6,577 17.8 -2.1
Judy Hayman Liberal Democrat 6,506 17.6 +7.1
Hilary Brown SNP 5,381 14.6 -1.1
Derrick White Scottish Socialist 624 1.7  
James Herriot Socialist Labour 376 1.0  
Majority 10,830 29.4
Turnout 36,871 62.5 -13.0
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 1.7% from Labour to Conservative
Against 1999 devolution poll 3.0% from Labour to Conservative

Description
East Lothian lies to the east of Edinburgh, comprising mostly agricultural land and seaside resorts, one of which (Gullane) is home to the Muirfield Open Championship golf course. The seats proximity to Edinburgh makes it a popular home for commuters to the city.

East Lothianís economy was built on farming, manufacturing and mining. The mines are all closed now, with the last one in Blindwells closing early in 2000. There also used to be many breweries located in the area but these have all now gone except for the prospering Belhaven brewery. East Lothian has also been hit by the closure of the Mitsubishi plant in Haddington in April 1998 which lost the area over 500 jobs. Despite the decline in all these industries, the last few years has witnessed an economic transformation in the area and it has ceased to qualify for European structural funding.

This seat has been held by Labour since 1966 with the exception of a short period between February and October 1974. The sitting MP John Home Robertson represented this constituency since winning a by-election in 1978, and has also represented East Lothian in the Scottish Parliament since 1999. He is not contesting the seat at the general election, preferring instead to only serve in the Scottish Parliament.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 East Lothian
Labour hold
Name Party Votes %
John Home Robertson Labour 22,881 52.7
Murdo Fraser Conservative 8,660 19.9
David McCarthy SNP 6,825 15.7
Alison MacAskill Liberal Democrat 4,575 10.5
Norman Nash Referendum 491 1.1
Majority 14,221 32.7
Turnout 43,432 75.5
1999 Scottish Parliamentary Election
 East Lothian
Labour win
Name Party Votes %
John Home Robertson Labour 19,220 51.1
Calum Miller SNP 8,274 22.0
Christine Richard Conservative 5,941 15.8
Judy Hayman Liberal Democrat 4,147 11.0
Majority 10,946 29.1
Turnout 37,582 63.5
 
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